A milestone: Kaiser now interacts more with patients virtually than in-person

CEO notes 'greater interaction' between members and the health care system

More than half of the interactions between Kaiser Permanente physicians and members last year were conducted virtually, CEO Bernard Tyson said last week at a Salesforce conference.

According to Tyson, 52 percent of the integrated health system's 110 million physician-member interactions took place via smartphone, videoconferencing, kiosks, or other technology tools. He said that Kaiser is reversing the traditional health care delivery model that asks patients to come to providers and is instead bringing services to the patients.

"We are going through a major transformation in health care," Tyson said. "[W]e built the entire health care industry where everyone has to come to us, but now we are reversing the theory where people have to come to us for everything, so we've invested billions in our technology platform."

Kaiser said that between 2014 and 2015, its members used Kaiser's digital health tools to view 37 million tests results, send 20 million emails to providers, refill 17 million prescriptions, and schedule 4 million appointments.

Tyson also remarked on others ways health care is changing. "What [we're] now seeing is greater interaction with our members and the health care system," he said, adding, " They're asking different questions, they're behaving more like consumers, and medical information now is becoming a critical part of how they’re making life choices" (Kokalitcheva, Fortune, 10/6; Wicklund, mHealth Intelligence, 10/11; Allen, "Morning eHealth," Politico, 10/10).

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